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Catholics Help Victims of Indonesian Earthquake

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNS) – Catholic groups have collected and are distributing aid for thousands of people affected by a deadly earthquake that struck Lombok, Indonesia’s popular tourist island.

The magnitude 6.4 quake struck the island July 29, killing at least 16 people, injuring 355 others and forcing more than 5,100 people from their homes, according to the country’s national disaster agency.

At least 1,400 homes, seven schools, five health facilities, and 22 places of worship were damaged.

“Catholics have started to collect aid. Catholic schools have collected tents, and my parishioners have collected rice and instant noodles,” Father Laurensius Maryono of St. Mary Immaculate parish in Mataram, the provincial capital, told ucanews.com.

“St. Anthony Catholic Hospital has sent teams of medical workers to serve those affected by the quake in the worst-hit area,” he said.

“We had to assess the current situation and what aid the victims really need. We’re focusing on things government and other organizations tend to overlook,” Father Maryono said.

The disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 150 tents, 100 power generators, 5,000 mattress, clothing and food items were distributed to victims.

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